Someone, somewhere wants it...

Daniel's wonky wicker basket

For me, Trashnothing really took off when I gave away a wonky wicker basket. I’d stupidly crushed it against a wall and it now had a weird, permanent 17-degree slant.

Too wonky to sell, too good to throw away. Surely no one would want it, I thought. But the idea of this going to landfill was too much. Fairly new to Trashnothing, I created a post, with a nice photo (important) and an explanation of the reason for the odd slant. Within a day, I’d had four messages. People loved my ‘leaning tower of Pisa.’

The wonky wicker basket, and a variety of things I given away since on Trashnothing, has taught me a valuable lesson: whatever you don’t need, someone somewhere will be able to use.

Raymond, a musician, came and collected the basket. I was so impressed with the result that I posted a story about it on Facebook, as a way to let more people know about Trashnothing. The post clearly struck a chord: lots of likes and comments.

Since then, Raymond has collected sheet music and a huge rice cooker that I was no longer using. We’ve struck up a friendship and he’s come to parties that I’ve had. We are now planning to create some musical events together.

Raymond, Daniel and the rice cooker

Of course, this story is just one of hundreds created every day, as people donate items via Trashnothing. There’s a stories page on the Trashnothing website where you can share your own stories of what you’ve given or been given, and what’s resulted from it. This is great for inspiring others — whether the gifts are wonky or not!

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Pick-up tips

Freegle people picking up items

So, you’ve have posted an item on TrashNothing and someone wants it. What’s the best way to arrange the pick up of the item? Here are some thoughts.

Where to meet

If you are giving away items, you get to choose where the pick-up takes place. Options include.

  • The person collecting comes to your home
  • You leave the items out in a safe place, such as somewhere in your front garden or side passage of your house.
  • You meet in a public place
  • You deliver the items (if the person collection happens to live or work on your way somewhere)

Arranging the pick up

In my experience, I’ve found that I often prefer to arrange the pick up by phone. Sometimes finding a mutually convenient time can be much easier when on a call, which is interactive, than back and forth by email or text. It’s nice to talk to the person that you are donating to (or collecting from), in advance. It builds trust – and having each other’s phone numbers is useful if plans change. And, personally, if I’m telling someone my home address for collection, I like to have a phone number for them.

In some cases, being flexible in terms of timing can give someone the chance to come by when they are passing, rather than coming specially. If you are doing this, which might mean hanging onto the item for a few days longer, it helps to get the other person to commit to a date that they’ll take it by.

No shows

Have you ever experienced a no show? Out of the 142 items that I’ve given away on TrashNothing, there were only one no show – a tiny proportion. If someone misses the arranged pick up and doesn’t let you know, it’s up to you as to whether you give them a second chance or not. It probably depends on what reason they give you. Really, if someone can’t make it, they should find a way to let you know in advance so that you don’t waste time waiting or end up still with an item that you wanted to give away. With most items on TrashNothing, you’ll have several people asking, so you can always explain politely – after a no show – that you need to give a different person the opportunity now.

If you're offering an item and someone misses the arranged pickup, it's up to you how to handle it. Most people give the person a 2nd chance within a day or two before offering the item to the next person in line. You can also leave feedback on the person.

It's always a good idea to collect a few replies to your offer before marking your offer as gifted. This makes it easier to give away your item without having to repost.

Photo by Alex Bamford

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